Most-Read Stories of 2016
With two full years of UV+EB Technology magazine under our belt and work on the first issue of 2017 well underway, we paused to see the topics with which our readers spent the most time in 2016. The following stories were the top reads for more than 11,000 visitors to the website.
- Upward Movement in the UV-Curable 3D Printing Industry
Undeniably, 3D printing is the new media darling. Whether forming tennis shoes or limbs, the technology is riding a definite wave of increased interest from those involved in discovering potential industrial applications and consumer hobbyists alike. While 3D printing may be the latest buzzword, not everyone has a grasp on the chemistries involved or its limitations.
- Most Recent Developments in UV-Curable Soft-Touch Coatings
Soft-touch coatings are unique finishes that deliver the feel and appearance of a velvet or flocked fabric substrate. Tactile surface feel is one of the most sought-after features in plastics decoration. Thousands of neural receptors in our fingertips process touch differences as small as 1/300th of an inch. Touch cant be turned off, and fingertip appeal plays an influential role in buying behavior. This is particularly the case for soft-touch coatings.
- Understanding Ultraviolet LED Wavelength
The sun is a source of the full spectrum of ultraviolet radiation, which is commonly subdivided into UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. Wavelength, a fundamental descriptor of electromagnetic energy, is the distance between corresponding points of a propagated wave. Typical UV light source emission wavelengths range from ultraviolet to visible light and infrared.
- Advances in Electron Beam Curing in Wide Web Flexible Package Printing
Electron beam (EB) curing for wide web flexible package printing continues to evolve. Flexographic ink systems have been optimized to allow wet trapping of ink colors cured with a single electron beam unit after the last station in a central-impression press configuration. Long runs with stable printing performance are enabled by new press technology that includes temperature-controlled print stations. Web offset flexible package printing also is attractive given advances in variable repeat press technology.
- Heat-Resistant, UV-Curable Clearcoat for Aircraft Exteriors
We are assessing the feasibility of developing and implementing a heat-resistant, UV-curable clear paint, or clearcoat, for use on the aircraft exterior. The clearcoat would protect underlying paint from discoloration experienced in service, thus improving its appearance and engineering performance. Nonpigmented urethane-based sample submissions were tested to our requirements for finish quality and engineering performance, with results approaching those of qualified thermally cured exterior urethanes. Pathways were identified for development and deployment of the clearcoat in production. Heat-soak testing of several rounds of clearcoat formulations from two suppliers showed substantially improved heat resistance compared to a thermally cured clearcoat used as a control.